It is truly impossible to sum up the array of experiences brought on by the coronavirus pandemic over the past year. Over half a million people have died in this country. Countless more are still recovering. Millions lost jobs. As cases swept across the nation, scenes that seemed incredible at the beginning of the pandemic — empty streets, long lines, goodbyes over FaceTime, morgue trucks — became commonplace in the United States. Other things that seemed utterly ordinary last February, like attending a sports game or showing your face in public, are still relatively rare.
Even for those lucky enough to be somewhat less affected, the year was still hard, as families juggled remote work and homeschool and individuals navigated long-term isolation. The pandemic has profoundly impacted our society, highlighting our inequalities along racial and class lines and offering up opportunities to do better. It remains to be seen what changes will become permanent, but with vaccine distribution ramping up in many places, it feels like there is a light at the end of what has been a very long year. Here's a look at how far we've come since last March.